Thanks to you, the June Fund Drive has come and gone. The Locked Box once again proved that at a time of real turmoil and chaos in this country, a lot of people were able to put their money and their good wishes into a place that would ensure the news and the best in culture and community would face as little interruption as possible.
As always, you came through. You cared enough to do it in record time. The June Fund Drive is always the most difficult. Perhaps it’s that a very wicked, wicked winter finally gave up and people were celebrating by getting out into nature or taking early vacations. But, as always there you were. The messages that came through with your pledges were incredibly gratifying. Your good words about the station and what it means to you were truly appreciated by all of us. In fact, there were so many wonderful comments that when we got a single bad notice, it seemed disproportionate. What it said was, “Tell Alan to shut up.” The writer went on to ask whether people giving their money would really make a difference in all the things that I had been talking about that were such downers.
The answer, of course, was yes, absolutely. If WAMC doesn’t have the courage to bring you the news, how in the world would you be able to confront the ills that are leaving us so damaged? Perhaps the most quoted person in the fund drive, at least from my lips, was Ben Franklin who told that famous lady at the Constitutional Convention that we had a republic “…if you can keep it.”
It is my personal belief that this country now faces its worst governmental crisis in history. We all know that we can’t have a democratic form of government unless people know what its so-called servants are doing. We face a real crisis because the First Amendment is being threatened by the Trump administration. That’s why we are so pleased to offer the Media Project show. Each specific threat is addressed on that program. For example, a recent show guided by the inimitable Rex Smith dealt with the recently imposed Trump tariffs on Canadian paper which will send the price of newsprint through the roof. We all know that Trump carries on about fake news, the “failing” New York Times and the like. I have no doubt that he is looking for ways to get even with his bad press notices. At least the radio isn’t printed on paper.
In any case, a radio program like the Roundtable and its panel features all kinds of opinion. One such opinion is often presented by Rich Honan, a very smart corporate attorney. While I seldom agree with anything that Rich has to say on the program, we get a number of letters every time he appears. Some are from unreconstructed conservatives who applauded what he is saying. Quite a few, however, are from liberal types way to Rich’s left. To their great credit they say that one of the reasons they love the program so much is that they always learn something that they never knew.
I want to use a little space here to applaud the extraordinary work that our underwriting sales people are doing to keep the whole WAMC operation afloat. Many people don’t realize that the underwriting notices that you hear bring in the same amount as the fund drives. We love our underwriting specialists and all that they do for the station.
Still another story for this month involves the tower that we finally were allowed to purchase. You all raised an incredible million dollars in the last fund drive to buy that tower. We recently heard from one of those big conglomerates who wants to buy it and is offering us all kinds of attractive incentives. We’ll never do that since that tower belongs to you. You paid for it and you get to keep it.